Put on your Boating Shoes, it’s Race Week!

Charleston is known for its preppy style, southern charm and gorgeous ocean views. So it is no surprise that every spring, the city holds a sailing race week on the blue ocean that frames the Charleston peninsula. The Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is a fun, challenging and exciting race that tests a skipper’s skills. The event starts today and ends this Sunday with an awards ceremony.

While the event kicks off on Thursday, the real race begins on Friday at 8:30am when sailors venture the offshore courses. After their departure you will see a flock of sails roll out onto the Cooper River. This year, 296 boats are registered at the hopes of proving their sailing skills. Boat captains consist of everything from regular Joes to sailing Pros, including three-time Olympic medalist, Mark Reynolds.

Quite possibly one of the best parts of this four-day event is that every night follows with a beach party.  Located at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, the party consists of Gosling’s Rum, a harbor view, live music and what is sure to be a darn good time! Among some local artist playing this week will be our very own Calvin Taylor who can be seen playing a few nights a week at the Thoroughbred Club.

If you are looking to fit in to the styles of Charleston Race Week, we do have a few suggestions for you.

1)   Dress like you’re a sailor. No, the captain hat can stay at home unless you are actually sailing the seas, but do wear light colors. Skippers tend to wear white in order to stay cool under the rays of the sun.

2)   Wear boating shoes. We suggest Sperry Top-Siders, first of all, they are practical for hitting the seas and secondly, they are very fashionable and come in various colors that are sure to meet your fancy. You can also pick up your own pair at their store within The Shops at Charleston Place.

3)   Bring a raincoat or windbreaker. There is a chance of rain this weekend, and in typical sailor fashion, you too may be splashed with a little bit of water. However, it might make you feel like you are also out there braving the fierce seas!

Whether you are watching from Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant or from the shoreline of the Charleston peninsula, you are sure to see what is going to be another great Charleston Race Week.

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Southern Cuisine History: She Crab Soup

She Crab Soup has been a Southern signature dish for decades, bringing warm, rich flavor to kitchen tables throughout Charleston. While local restaurants offer their own versions, this rich and filling soup traditionally consists of heavy cream, blue crab meat and crab roe (eggs) with dry sherry often added as it is plated.

Large numbers of Scottish immigrants began settling in Charleston during the 1700s.  One traditional dish they brought with them was partan-bree, a crab and rice soup. The settlers began to adjust their recipe to incorporate blue crabs because of the abundance in the area.  This Scottish soup served as a starting point, but She Crab Soup as we know it today was not developed until the early 1900s.  As the story goes, R. Goodwyn Rhett, Mayor of Charleston, was entertaining President Taft at his home.  The Rhett’s butler, William Deas, was asked to create a fancier version of their traditional crab soup.  He added the orange-hued crab eggs of mature female crabs, called “she crabs” by fishermen, to give color and improve the flavor, thus inventing the Charleston delicacy known as She Crab Soup.

This delightful and smooth seafood soup is sure to impress your friends and family, try to recreate the Palmetto Cafe’s She Crab Soup with Sherry, or come in and try it for yourself!

Traditional She Crab Soup with Sherry, from the Palmetto Cafe

Yellow Onion (minced)
Celery (minced)
Bay Leaf
Thyme (chopped)
Dry Sherry
Milk (cold)
Heavy Cream (cold)
Lobster Stock
Crab Roe (minced)
Salt and Pepper
2 oz
2 oz
3 oz
3 oz
1 small leaf
1 tsp
1 oz
3 c
1 oz
2½ c
1 ½ oz
4 oz
To taste
To taste


In a heavy gauge pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook the mixture constantly stirring to a golden straw color (appx. 7 minutes). Add the onion, celery, thyme and bay leaf and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Add the milk, cream and half of the lobster stock. Cook 20 minutes. Add the minced crab roe to the remaining lobster stock and combine it with the sherry. Add this mixture along with the nutmeg and seasonings to the rest of the soup. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the crabmeat and cook an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh crabmeat mixed with chopped thyme. This recipe serves 6 to 8 people, bon appétit!

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